Rome

Italians vowed to keep costs low on Easter weekend

Economic crisis, bad weather means low-key holiday

Italians vowed to keep costs low on Easter weekend

Rome, April 1 - The economic crisis plaguing Italy as well as cold, wet weather kept many Italian families from traditional Easter Monday trips and celebrations. More than half of Italians surveyed said they were staying home rather than taking the traditional Easter Monday trip to the countryside, according to farmers' association Coldiretti. And among those who were still planning to get away for the day, about 17% were intending to do nothing more than go for a picnic, the group said in a report released Monday. Only 12% were headed for the seaside, 10% were spending the holiday in the city, and about 8% were going to the mountains. Besides budget constraints, poor weather across much of the peninsula may have also been a factor in the decision to stay at home. Some snow in parts of the north as well as steady rain showers and uncertain weather across the central and south dampened enthusiasm for the Easter weekend. Blustery winds were also felt across Italy's centre and south, and led civil protection authorities to issue a weather warning for intense rain and storm activity in Lazio, Sardinia and parts of the Campania region. The Coldiretti survey also found that only about 3.4 million Italian families were taking an Easter vacation, down from the four million who had such plans last year and 4.5 million in 2011. According to Coldiretti, nearly 18 million Italian households planned to spend Easter at home.

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